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18 Amazing Liquor Bottles You’d Buy Just For The Bottle

Packaging is an effective and powerful part of a brand’s marketing strategy, but sometimes packaging becomes a bit more than that. For many liquors, the bottle that holds it can be as much a reason to buy it as the drink contained within; Absolut Vodka is a brand that comes to mind. And sometimes, the bottle itself can become the object of desire…and even a collectors’ item. The 18 bottles that follow are rare, luxurious, aesthetically pleasing, or otherwise interesting— and that means that they’re some of the most sought-after liquor bottles that money can buy.

Macallan Crystal Decanter

This is perhaps the most expensive bottle ever made.

This one-of-a-kind crystal Lalique decanter was commissioned by the famed Speyside distillery to be crafted using the ancient “cire perdue” method (also known as the “lost wax” method), which involves using a mold to cast duplicates of original sculptures and other kinds of three-dimensional art. Not only is the bottle a work of craftsmanship; it also and holds the oldest and rarest Macallan single malt ever bottled. It sold at Sotheby’s for a whopping $460,000 in 2010, making it the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold. Largely thanks to that final price, 36 other bottles of the same single malt were later sold for around $16,000 a piece. Even if the original bottle had fetched only the $150,000 it was expected to get at auction, that would have made it the most expensive bottle of whisky in the world.

Only 5 of these bottles were made, and were priced at an even $200,000 per bottle.

Only five of these bottles were made, and they were priced at an even $200,000 per bottle.

The Bombay Sapphire Revelation collection featured just five Baccarat crystal bottles  designed by Karim Rashid, with the diamond and jewel decorated caps supplied by Garrard.  At $200,000 per bottle, the entire collection was worth a cool $1 million. The bottles were shipped to five separate cities across the globe (New York, London, Dubai, Sydney, and Singapore) to promote the brand with proceeds going to the Smile Train charity. Each bottle’s buyer also received a year’s supply of Bombay Sapphire gin.

Diamonds and sapphires decorating the bottle's cap.

Diamonds and sapphires decorate the bottle’s cap.

Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac bottle goes for around $8,000

Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac bottle goes for around $8,000

Louis XIII Cognac is at the very top of high-end cognacs. It’s a unique and rare blend of liquor aged between 40 to 100+ years in the Grande Champagne region of France. Though normally the brand goes for around $2,000 per bottle, this limited edition “Black Pearl” is listed for four times that amount. The bottle may look like steel or silver, but it is in fact a uniquely colored Baccarat crystal that reflects and refracts light like no other bottle before.

Premium vodka by ladoga comes in a Faberge egg styled case and includes 4 sipping glasses as well.

Premium vodka by Ladoga comes in a Faberge egg-inspired case and includes four shot glasses as well.

The premium vodka brands are getting into the fancy bottling racket as well, it seems. Ladoga created this classy Venice glass decanter for their Imperial collection.The decanter is detailed with 24-karat gold trim and inspired by Faberge eggs; when opened, the “egg” reveals the bottle and four cleverly mounted shot glasses within. The decanters come in a variety of colors, each suitable as a lovely collectors’ piece for any Russian vodka fanatic.

Crystal Head Vodka isn't just a skull shaped bottle, it's an archeological legend.

The Crystal Head Vodka container isn’t just a skull-shaped bottle; it’s a bottle based off of an archaeological legend.

According to Crystal Head Vodka’s website, 13 crystal skulls dating anywhere from 5,000 to 35,000 years old have been found throughout the world. None of the skulls made available for study presented anything that would suggest they were manufactured any earlier than the 19th century, though there still exists some dispute on those accounts. Regardless, this is one of the more popular non-traditional bottles you might find in your neighborhood liquor store. And for under $50, it’s a bit more accessible than some of the above bottles. In fact, if you aren’t interested in the liquor inside and would prefer just to have the package, eBay has them going for just about $10 a piece (plus shipping).

Frozen Ghost Vodka gets our top pick for creepiest bottle in existence.

Frozen Ghost Vodka’s bottle gets our top pick for creepiest bottle in existence.

If you have some time to learn about the legend behind this bottle, you’ll discover a story line like no other. But it’s the bottle itself that I’m most interested in. The pictures simply don’t do it justice. From the front, it looks like a figure attempting to escape the bottle. Turn it to the side, however, and the figure follows you until, from the side, it disappears completely. It’s an impressive and creepy holographic trick that certainly fits the narrative.  I’m sure the vodka is pretty good, too…

Another image showing the figure appearing to turn along with the bottle.

Another image shows the figure appearing to turn along with the bottle.

 

Hand blown glass "bull" bottle from La Colletion

This hand-blown glass “bull” bottle comes from La Collection,

This Armenian brand takes its bottle designs very seriously. La Collection features a number of hand-blown glass bottles representing several different kinds of animals, including a bull, a horse, and an elephant, plus a few bottles shaped like other objects, like guns, a sword (with sheath), a menorah, and a ladies’ dress shoe. It’s definitely a brand worth collecting just for the unique glass work alone.

The Lady shoe bottle design, just because.

The ladies’ dress shoe bottle design, just because.

 

A tequila bottle inside a bottle... much better than a worm.

A tequila bottle inside a bottle… that’s much better than a worm.

The first time I saw this bottle, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. Is this a liquor store or…? Upon closer look, it became clear that there were simply two liquors in a single hand blown crystal bottle. Milagro produced the above bottle to celebrate two complimentary styles of tequila:

“The 3 inner chambers are filled with 100% Blue Agave Select Barrel Reserve Anejo, each chamber representing a year of its aging to maturity. The outer chamber is filled with 100% Blue Agave Reposado aged to perfection for 9 months in oak barrels.”  – Source

The bottle below, however, is another piece of art that also happens to contain tequila. The hand-blown bottle features a glass tequila plant inside for a breathtaking visual experience.

A beautiful tequila cactus within each bottle of Milagro.

A beautiful tequila cactus sits within each bottle of Milagro.

 

Handgun designed tequila bottle from Hijos De Villa

Here’s a handgun-shaped tequila bottle from Hijos De Villa.

Keeping up with the tequila theme, this bottle is designed to look like a handgun; it contains an ironically smooth tequila from Hijos De Villa. Along with the Crystal Head Vodka bottle, this is one of the more common non-traditional bottles you might be able to find locally and is also quite easy to find on eBay (sans liquor).

It's not just that the bottle is shaped like an AK-47, it's the additional details that makes this one special.

It’s not just that the bottle is shaped like an AK-47. The additional details are what make this one special.

There are a number of other cool gun-shaped bottles, but this one from Kalashnikov vodka takes the cake. It’s the realistic gun case and included dog-tags that sells it, really. Not that the bottle itself isn’t great: it even stands up on the butt of the gun nicely without it (though I wouldn’t display it that way long—it’s still too tall), but the realistic case gives it that final detail for the full experience.

The worlds first and only programmable liquor bottle.

Take a look at the world’s first and only programmable liquor bottle.

Medea Vodka has done something truly remarkable with their bottle design that we find impressive. The LED display can remember up to six messages as long as 255 characters each. That’s right: each message contains more info than a tweet on Twitter! The batteries last about a year according to the website. Just check out the video below for more info:

Every bottle contains a precious gem.

Every bottle contains a precious gem.

At first glance, this bottle may look like the Bombay Sapphire Revelation design. And while it’s priced far short of $200k, instead selling for about $70 retail, each bottle does come with one of five precious stones in the cap. It’s the poor man’s version of Revelation, but a vodka by Jewel Lines.

A very clever design, even if it is a Russian vodka.

It’s a very clever design, even if it is for a Russian vodka.

This Russian made vodka, called Samurai, features a bottle design that’s clever in a minimalistic sort of way. It appears as though the bottle was cut in half by a samurai sword; the bottle even stands that way. Simple, aesthetic, and clever.

Not sure what the brand of tequila, but the bottle is one of a kind.

Not sure what the brand of tequila is, but the bottle is one of a kind.

This bottle, inspired by the Mayan culture, appears to be a stone replica statue and contains an unknown brand of Anejo tequila. Even though we don’t know much about the brand, one look at this unique bottle and I knew I needed to include it on my list anyway.

Ceramic vintage car vodka bottle from Pshenychnaya

This is a porcelain “vintage car” vodka bottle from Pshenychnaya.

Pshenychnaya is another vodka brand that’s explored non-traditional shaped bottles. This time, instead of glass, the bottles are made from porcelain and painted to match the design more accurately. Along with the car (above), this brand also has an AK-47 design, though it’s not nearly as aesthetically fascinating.

What’s your favorite bottle?  Share other cool bottle designs with us in the comments!

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Todd Heim

Todd is the Digital Marketing Manager for QLP. He has over 10 years experience in marketing and can be a bit of a nerd about it. While Todd enjoys just about all sports, he would much rather be participating than spectating. He's also a bit of a movie buff, particularly B horror... If you want a decent horror/slasher flick to find on Netflix that you've probably never heard of, he's your guy. Connect with Todd on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. david k waltz

    Todd,

    I never knew so many specialty bottles existed for some of those brands. From the marketing perspective, do these ‘payoff’, or is their creation more of a celebration expense?

    On another note, this must have been fun to research!

    • Todd Heim

      David, I’d say for most of the newer brands it’s a bit of a tradeoff. Getting into the liquor business isn’t easy, so they create a bottle that becomes a novelty to generate buzz and get consumers to try their product. But if the liquor itself doesn’t live up to the price-point (probably not), they’ll get the single sale but few repeat customers. Once you have the cool bottle, you’d need a better reason to spend that much more on Vodka, NO?

      For the established brands, it’s a great way to gain publicity and utilize “limited edition” marketing to either create a true collectors item or simply justify a higher price point… The first three are good examples of this.


      And also: ….Yes. :)

  2. Sam

    I know exactly what you mean! My Boyfriend’s Mother purchased a 2ft Tall bottle of Tequila that was in the shape of a Tommy Gun, and it was the smelliest most disgusting tequila I have ever had! this company must be doing well based on the bottle, as it certainly is not for the taste! Also, there is a Russian Vodka that sells it’s mediocre vodka for no less than $100 a bottle. They sell it based on the fact that it is distilled with diamonds (which does nothing), mean while you don’t get a diamond in the bottle or anything just a glass mold of one on the bottle. It truly amazes me what people are willing to spend money on for glass! Great post!

  3. MIke

    In the Big Bang Theory season 6 season finale they were in a liquor store. There was a monster/gargoyle head bottle on the shelf any ideas of what it is. I can not find out anything from searching for it.

  4. Norm

    One of the bottles you left out was manana tequila.

  5. Donald foote

    I have an unopened bottle kings ransom blended scotch. It has to be at least 70 years old.what do you think it’s worth.

  6. Drew Moore

    One of the most unique bottles that recently came out is the Flashbang Tequila bottle. It is a replica of an M84 grenade and actually opens by pulling the pin to let the handle fly off. It has won tequila awards and tastes really smooth for 100 proof. Only comes in a 50ml though. I would love a bigger one. http://www.flashbangspirits.com

  7. Shirley

    I have two unopened, four chamber bottles, ( four different liquors), by Marie Brizard & Roger. The only date on the bottles, is the est. in 1755. they look pretty old. Can you give any info on them? I’ve been searching everywhere!!

  8. PJ

    Shirley, That date is the date the company was founded so I highly doubt that it is quite that old, although if it is, you are a millionaire and dont know it

  9. Bob

    Great find — Lady shoe Bottle Design can you tell me the History of the bottle and the Value

  10. Danukz

    the hispanic statue bottle is from LA COFRADIA Brand Tequila as a part of the Prehispanic Brand. http://www.tequilacofradia.com/demo/productos2.php?tipo=prehispanico

  11. VINCENT SIVIGLIA

    I HAVE AN UNOPEN BOTTLE OF AMENIAN VOKA HORSE FROM LA COLLECTION HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH.
    THANKS IN ADVANCE VINCENT

  12. Andrea

    Pumpkinhead Rum. The bottle is shaped like a jack-o-lantern carved, round pumpkin.

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